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Match Preview: Sacramento Republic FC vs Swope Park Rangers

By Eddie Ralph, 08/22/17, 11:15AM PDT

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August 23, 2017; 8:00 p.m. PDT Kickoff

Sacramento Republic FC host Swope Park Rangers on Wednesday, Aug. 23.  Kickoff is 8 p.m. at Papa Murphy’s Park. The match will be broadcast on Sports 1140 KHTK. Tickets are available at SacRepublicFC.com.

The match is the final of two meetings between the clubs this season.  The Rangers won the first matchup 1-0 on Apr. 15 at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Mo.   The win was the first in the all-time series as the clubs had played to a draw in their only other matchup.

Republic FC enter the match after falling 2-1 to their rival Reno 1868 FC on Saturday, Aug. 19.  The loss broke a season-long streak of seven straight matches without a loss, including six wins.  The unbeaten streak helped Republic FC reach 10 wins for the fourth consecutive season.

Midfielder Hayden Partain continued his good form since joining the club on Aug. 4.  Partain scored his first professional goal, a 15th minute header against Reno on Saturday.  The midfielder has made three appearances, including two starts since signing with the club, providing much needed depth to the midfield.

Defender James Kiffe earned the assist on Partain’s goal, his third of the season and his ninth career assist with Republic FC.  Kiffe is now tied with former Republic FC midfielder Max Alvarez for third on the Republic FC all-time assist list and is the highest defender on the list.

Republic FC will be without two important players on Wednesday, with Jeremy Hall and Chris Christian both picking up a one-match suspension for caution accumulation.  Hall and Kiffe have been Republic FC’s ironmen with each playing every possible USL minute this season.  Christian has also been a key part of Republic FC’s backline, appearing in 18 of Republic FC’s 21 USL matches, including all but one of the club’s shutouts this season.

The Rangers come into the match on a four-match winless streak, including three straight draws.  Prior to their winless streak, the Rangers went on a 10-match unbeaten streak that helped them climb to the third seed in the USL Western Conference.

The Rangers offense is led by forward Kharlton Belmar, who has recorded a club-leading eight goals. Belmar joined the Rangers following two seasons with Portland Timbers 2.  The 24-year-old forward has been a consistent attacking force in the USL, scoring 23 goals in three seasons.

The match could also see the return of forward Cameron Iwasa who left Republic FC in the offseason, signing with the Rangers’ MLS club, Sporting Kansas City.  The Sacramento-native has two goals on the season for the Rangers, after leading Republic FC in goals in 2016.  Iwasa made 46 USL appearances in two seasons with Republic FC, scoring goals and adding four assists.  He is third on the all-time Republic FC scoring list.

The match will be the final 8 p.m. home kickoff of the season.  Beginning on Sept. 2 all Republic FC home matces will return to 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.  Tickets are available for the match at SacRepublicFC.com and there will be at least 100 tickets available for purchase at walkup.  The match will be broadcast on Sports 1140 KHTK and streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday-guide and in the USL Match Center. Updates of the match will be also be provided via Twitter @SacRepublicFC or using #SACvSPR.